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The Spanish language grows in America despite opposition

by Tegan Mazur - Copy Desk Chief
Tue, Sep 5th 2017 11:00 pm

The Spanish language is a beautiful thing; there is no denying that. The language is here to stay in America; there is no denying that either. 

Those who think it should be snuffed out of this country are as obsolete as their thinking. It's a waste of energy and public attention to make this such an issue, but I guess it's past that point already, so let's dive right in, shall we?

 Spanish is a popular language, certainly, according to The New York Times article, "Spanish Thrives in the U.S. Despite an English-Only Drive," by Simon Rimero. Approximately 437 million people speak the language worldwide, while English is trailing behind at 372 million.

Many people in America suffer from the delusion that English is the default language and white the default race. I'm no exception; it's an assumption that can be hard to get rid of in this country, because that's what our society likes to perpetuate. 

However, you can't deny the numbers and certainly not the truth. Spanish is just another necessary reminder that the white English-speaking American is not the center of the universe.

In the United States, particularly the southwest, the language is creating a stable foothold in many places. Telemundo, a spanish based television channel popular amongst communities where Spanish is the main language, even competes for ratings in America with major networks like ABC and CBS. If Spanish can compete in the world of television, I can't think of any better representation of working your way into the American mainstay (except maybe fried food). 

Television is such an integral part of how Americans interact with culture and with the world. It would be difficult to argue that the presence of the language in television will not help inject it into every red blooded American and challenge their scared little prejudices about the world.

And yet I still hear the same old story about how this country is one where most people speak English. I swear if I hear one more person say, "This is America, speak English!" I'm going to lose my marbles. 

This country has become so culturally inbred, feeding off itself and shutting out anything that comes from elsewhere unless we can exploit it for novelty. The luxury English-speaking Americans have, including myself, of having English spoon fed to us wherever we go is a privilege for us, but a burden to our fellow Americans who do not speak it.  

Do you know what the dangers of most, if not every, citizen in this country learning a second language like Spanish is? Nothing. 

We have only to benefit from learning more. This is not some invasion of a dangerous virus, it's the natural course of culture. For cripes sake there are more Spanish speakers in America than there are in Spain!

20 states have passed laws declaring that English is the official language. That doesn't sound like a triumphant stand against an attack, it sounds like a petty, frightened lashing out against what the American way should be.

The funny thing about this whole situation is that despite the ignorance of the American people once again, the Spanish language's presence in the country continues not only to assert itself, but continues to grow and even evolve after being in such large contact with the English language. 

This has actually lead to the slow legalization of the concept of "Spanglish", a sort of proto language spoken by many Spanish speakers, according to the aforementioned The New York Times article.

A healthy and new mix of two cultures which did not result in gross appropriation? I can't believe my eyes, but there it is folks. A happy ending I really didn't expect. The simple fact of the matter is that it just doesn't make any sense to keep the languages and cultures apart. 

According to The New York Times article, "Trump supports plan to cut legal immigration by half" by Peter Barker, Trump wants legal immigrants to be required to speak English. It just doesn't make any sense. 

As someone, unlike Trump, who trusts strongly in the things that science has to teach, I am a firm opponent to homogeneity. It is the mother of stagnation and decay, biologically and culturally. English not only has nothing to fear from Spanish, it has everything to gain.

It's easy to preach about the importance of accepting this change, seeing as how I don't actually speak Spanish, aside from a few basic sentences.

 Hopefully, however, it is not a luxury I will be able to afford forever. Necessity may be the mother of invention, but it's also the mother of progress. Spanish is a resilient, beautiful language and a downright unstoppable force in America. Bless those who speak it and good luck to those who think they can stop it.

My final sentiments are not what they usually are. I don't have to say that we need to fight to accept Spanish, because it's not really the issue.

Spanish is coming whether we like it or not and it's going to make us all better for it. My opinion this week is that my opinion doesn't matter; English better make some room because Spanish is moving in! 

So with that: Ámate y aprende un nuevo idioma.

teganh83@gmail.com